Jade Jones at last lands world title with victory in Manchester

Jade Jones celebrates
Jade Jones celebrates

Jade Jones finally added an elusive first world taekwondo title to her double Olympic gold with a 14-7 win over defending champion Lee Ah-reum in Manchester.

Jones, who had been defeated by Lee at the semi-final stage in Muju two years ago, defied a final-round fightback to claim a victory which underlines her status as one of the sport's all-time greats.

Jones told Press Association Sport: "There were times I doubted if I could ever do it and I can finally go to sleep at night knowing I am not going to finish my career without winning that world title.

"This is only going to increase my motivation to go on and make it three Olympic titles in a row. The pressure is off me now and I am hungrier than ever to go to Tokyo and win gold again."

The 26-year-old may have been forgiven for wondering if the world title would be the major title to elude her after a series of near-misses stretching back to her first World Championship in 2011.

But having scraped through to the final in less-than-convincing circumstances on Friday night, Jones made no mistake against her rival and controlled their contest from the start before celebrating in front of her ecstatic home fans.

Jones' victory erased the memories of those previous heartbreaks, starting in 2011 when, at the age of barely 18, she had to settle for a silver medal after losing a sudden-death final round to China's Hou Yuzhuo.

Jones fell short at the quarter-final stage in 2013 and two years later also went out in the last eight after a controversial loss to Iran's Kimia Alizadeh, when she was hindered by a crash in the electronic scoring system.

By 2017 Jones had a second consecutive Olympic title in the bag but continued to struggle on the world stage, where she had to settle for bronze after her 14-8 loss to Lee in Muju.

Two years later Jones was intent on making up for her previous disappointments with victory on home soil, and no doubt suitably inspired by her friend and flat-mate Bianca Walkden's third triumph on Friday night.

If the manner of Walkden's win had been highly controversial, her accomplishment in becoming the first Briton to win three world titles was not lost on Jones, who craved a share of her world gold medal moment.

She controlled her contest against her former nemesis from the opening moments, when a two-point body kick gave her a lead which she was ultimately never to relinquish.

Jones' gold was Great Britain's third of the championships and the fourth medal in total after Huddersfield 16-year-old Aaliyah Powell won a surprise bronze in the women's -53kg division.

Powell's remarkable run was ended emphatically, 38-5 in her semi-final against Russia's Tatiana Kudashova, but it was nevertheless a hugely promising performance from an athlete who is still sitting her GCSEs.

Powell told Press Association Sport: "It's been really difficult studying and training this year but I wasn't going to let my GCSEs stand in the way of an opportunity like this."

Earlier, Great Britain performance director Gary Hall had accused Chinese taekwondo athlete Zheng Shuyin of "disrespect" over the histrionics which followed her controversial defeat to Walkden in Friday night's world final.

Zheng dropped to her knees both in the ring and on the podium after losing the women's +73kg final by disqualification despite holding a 10-point lead midway through the final round.

Chinese head coach Guan Jianmin told state news agency Xinhua the result was "a scandal" and "very dirty", adding: "I have been doing this sport for 16 years but this is the first time I realised taekwondo can be played like this."

Under the sport's rules, a player who amasses 10 gamjons, or penalties, during a match is automatically thrown out. Facing defeat and with Zheng having already reached seven penalty counts, Walkden adopted legitimate tactics to force further errors.

Hall told Press Association Sport: "They (the Chinese) have no right to be offended - in fact Britain should be more offended for the disrespectful manner in which the Chinese athlete took her medal.

"Bianca won that match fair and square. The rules state that you have to fight until the very end and Bianca did so using right and proper rules."

Meanwhile, Olympic silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad has been forced to withdraw from the event due to injury. Muhammad had been due to contest the men's -87kg division on Sunday.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Sheffield United players celebrate1

Blades too good for blunt Arsenal

Sheffield United claimed the scalp of Arsenal to move up to ninth in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

Gareth Jones predicts the outcome of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals2

World Cup: Semi-final predictions

Gareth Jones previews the semi-finals of the Rugby Union World Cup as northern and southern hemisphere go head-to-head.

Check out our tips for the Portugal Masters...3

Portugal Masters: Gorgeous George

Birdies are the order of the day at the Portugal Masters, where Ben Coley is backing George Coetzee. Read his in-depth preview.

The view at Exeter racecourse4

Tuesday's racing preview

Equiano Springs can follow up a recent Newmarket win in the Optional Claiming Handicap at Newcastle, according to Anita Chambers.

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator5

Sporting Life Accumulator

We have a midweek Sporting Life Accumulator with action in the Sky Bet EFL. A four-fold enhanced to 22/1 with the league sponsors.

Most Read

Sheffield United players celebrate1

Blades too good for blunt Arsenal

Sheffield United claimed the scalp of Arsenal to move up to ninth in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

Gareth Jones predicts the outcome of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals2

World Cup: Semi-final predictions

Gareth Jones previews the semi-finals of the Rugby Union World Cup as northern and southern hemisphere go head-to-head.

Check out our tips for the Portugal Masters...3

Portugal Masters: Gorgeous George

Birdies are the order of the day at the Portugal Masters, where Ben Coley is backing George Coetzee. Read his in-depth preview.

The view at Exeter racecourse4

Tuesday's racing preview

Equiano Springs can follow up a recent Newmarket win in the Optional Claiming Handicap at Newcastle, according to Anita Chambers.

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator5

Sporting Life Accumulator

We have a midweek Sporting Life Accumulator with action in the Sky Bet EFL. A four-fold enhanced to 22/1 with the league sponsors.

Racing Tips

The view at Exeter racecourse

Tuesday's racing preview

Equiano Springs can follow up a recent Newmarket win in the Optional Claiming Handicap at Newcastle, according to Anita Chambers.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Eden delights

Matt Brocklebank is backing David Pipe's star bumper performer to get off the mark at the first time of asking over obstacles at Exeter.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

Next Race Off

23:48 Turf Paradise
5
(5)
Impetu
J: Denny Velazquez
2
(2)
Shirl's Ready
J: David Lopez

Football Tips

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

We have a midweek Sporting Life Accumulator with action in the Sky Bet EFL. A four-fold enhanced to 22/1 with the league sponsors.

Check out Tuesday's Champions League preview and best bets

Tuesday's Champions League tips

The third matchday of the Champions League group stages takes place this week. George Pitts looks ahead to Tuesday's action.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.